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You might not have made it onto Harry and Meghan’s official guest list, but you can still celebrate like royalty with crafty ideas and tasty tips from style queen Deborah Brett

Raise the bar

“Start the party planning with a theme in mind. It’s all about attention to detail. I’ve gone with an obvious red, white and blue colour scheme to symbolise the Union Jack and Stars and Stripes for Harry and Meghan – right down to the paper chains, fruit on the cake and the drinks. Fill a champagne trug with a proper Anglo-American mix of buttery chardonnay, Californian rosé and crisp English fizz.

“A drink dispenser is visually impressive, with the added bonus of letting guests serve themselves. Fill with something non-alcoholic like elderflower cordial with sparkling water and top with layers of fruit – blueberries and chunks of watermelon fit the theme and give it a sweet summer freshness.”


Pre-prepared party

“One of the biggest pitfalls in throwing your own party is being so wrapped up in everyone else having a good time that you forget to sit down and enjoy yourself. The best way around this is to prepare all your food beforehand and set it up at stations so that people can help themselves.

“Child-sized treats with an American accent, like mini burgers and traditional picnic sandwiches, are always popular. Add your own style to something plain like this naked cake () – some carefully arranged fruit and edible flowers in cream, red and berry blue tones – and you can practically say it’s homemade.

“Make quick pickles (thinly sliced radish and sweet red onion work well with these little salmon and cream cheese bagel bites) and leave on a chopping board with wedges of lemon and bunches of watercress so people can choose their own toppings.”


Build a craft table

“Take the easy route for pudding and serve up a plate of ripe strawberries alongside mini bowls of melted chocolate, chopped toasted nuts and sprinkles. Dipping strawberries is great fun (although the children end up dipping fingers into the chocolate a fair bit!).

“It wouldn’t be a royal celebration without some spectacular crowns – let kids make their own by cutting points out of strips of metallic paper before gluing to fit around their heads and sticking on tons of glitter – don’t forget to put down newspaper if you’re doing this indoors, or you’ll be picking up glitter for weeks post-party.”


Dress your table

“Create small spots of interest for guests around your garden, whether it’s a craft station or drinks table. You can take a little bit of your home outside by layering outdoor rugs and cushions to make a comfy lounge area and chill-out zone for kids (and adults if they need a break).

“I love having tiny informal bouquets in little vases scattered along the table, or fruit spilling along the centre – it looks so decadent and guests can pick and nibble too.

“Play up the colours of the British and American flags in a subtle way by making small posies from sweet-smelling stocks, roses and delphiniums and use them as place settings on your dining table.”


Editor: Emma Sleight / Photographer: Emma Tunbridge / Food stylist: Emily Ezekiel
Prop stylist: Twig Hutchinson / Stylist: Julie Vianey / Hair & make-up artist: Rose Angus

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